World Without End

World Without End

Lia Mills

Marilynne Robinson’s three Gilead novels amount to a masterclass in perspective and in the use of telling detail to construct character and story. Part of their extraordinary power is their ability to return to the same events with a fresh point of view, without ever feeling repetitive.

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The Rolling English Road

The Rolling English Road

Andrew Lees

Jim Phelan, born in the last decade of the nineteenth century in Inchicore in Dublin, was condemned to death for murder, served a long sentence in various prisons and on his release became a tramp, a novelist and a writer and broadcaster on the traditions of tramps and gypsies.

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Working Class Heroes

Working Class Heroes

Seamus O’Mahony

The ghosted autobiography of Roy Keane and a biography of England’s 1966 World Cup golden boy Bobby Moore illustrate hugely contrasting personalities, but also the enormous changes that have come over the culture of the beautiful game during the last fifty years.

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I am an automobile

Calista McRae

A new study argues that John Berryman’s poetry is far more than id, psychosis, and despair, bringing out Berryman’s intelligence and his careful thinking about the modern world, which has often been ignored in favour of accounts that portray a wild, whisky-inspired genius

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Laughing Matters

James Moran

The outstanding English comic novelist of his generation, David Lodge has managed to extract humour in book after book from two main subjects: the competitiveness and egoism of academic life and the follies of the Catholic Church’s attempts to instruct its flock on how to conduct their sex lives.

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How to be a Dub

Tom Inglis

Is it sufficient to have been born in the capital to be a true Dub? What if your parents and grandparents were born there too, but on the middle class southside? Would this let you in or do you have to have been born within the sound of the Hill 16 roar and talk like dis?

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News from the Glen

Proinsias Ó Drisceoil

The reissue of an ‘imaginative biography’ which first appeared in 1963 and which was written in the now defunct Tipperary Irish dialect reminds us of a time when Irish-language publishing was moving away from accounts of Gaeltacht life and beginning to favour modernism.

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The King’s Man

Deirdre Serjeantson

Walter Quin was a Dubliner who became attached to the Scottish and later English court of King James VI and I. He devoted his considerable learning and poetic talent to writing ingenious verse in support of his master’s claim to unite the kingdoms of both countries.

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Ireland’s Disappeared

Michael Cronin

In ‘the new entrepreneurialism’, workers are expected to be their own timekeepers (automated flexi-time systems), secretaries (word processing tools), accountants (automated payroll systems, online banking, revenue online services) and travel agents (online ticketing).

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Married to the Mob

David McKechnie

The moral compass of much of traditional journalism can look quaint when the outraged vigilante democracy of Twitter is unleashed. As Jon Ronson’s new book makes clear, these vicious contemporary bullyings and shamings are not driven by ‘them’ but by ‘us’.

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Why Kill Charlie?

Max McGuinness

Stéphane Charbonnier (‘Charb’), the murdered editor of ‘Charlie Hebdo’, was a distinctly old-fashioned leftist – of the kind which has no hang-ups about hurting people’s feelings. For him, ridicule was a quasi-religious cause, one for which he was prepared to sacrifice himself.

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Feeling the Squeeze

Roy Foster

A new study of the decline of the Protestant community in independent Ireland deals principally not with the Big Houses or the commercial bourgeoisie but with the ‘little people’ and their response to the violence and threats of violence they faced during the Troubles.

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Well, Kerrang!!!

Peter Sirr

Michael Hofmann is a poet, essayist and translator. The latter activity, he has said, he undertakes partially to compensate for the slimness of his poetic work but he also has strong views, in particular noisily rejecting the idea that translation should be transparent or impersonal.

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Goodbye Schweinhund, Hallo Nachbar?

Seán OHuiginn

A number of recently published books give hope that the ‘fog of war’ which has blanketed the modern British view of Germany is beginning to lift, allowing a view of the nation in the perspective of its entire history and not just the disastrous twelve-year episode of the Third Reich.

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He Had to Do Something

George O’Brien

Sean O’Faoláin was not exactly a man of the people but a man who had ideas of the people. He was a Catholic, but he’d be damned if he was an Irish Catholic, and his taste veered towards the haute bourgeois, which was not the kind of thing you would shop locally for.

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Not all Beef and Ale

John McCourt

Anthony Trollope has the reputation of being a conventional and comfortable writer, valued by various Tory prime ministers as a purveyor of enjoyable light political intrigue but in his Irish novels he emerges as a somewhat more complex and double-sided figure.

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A Bit of Help, Comrade?

John Mulqueen

Throughout the 1980s, two left-wing parties, the increasingly ambitious and successful SFWP, later WP, and the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) competed for the favour and financial support of the Soviet bloc. But at the end of the decade it all came tumbling down.

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Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

Pauline Hall

The first of a series of essays on fictions inspired by the 1916 Easter Rising looks at a work by Raymond Queneau, a French disciple of Joyce whose total experience of Ireland, he has admitted was a short stopover at Shannon Airport on the way to the United States.

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Echoes from the Cistern

Thomas McCarthy

There is nothing tentative, or merely suggestive, in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection. Her academic training is outraged by vagueness, so that the poems grab a firm hold of their subject-matter; the work is pre-meditated, never a pen shuffling in the hope of inspiration.

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James McFadden

James McFadden grew up in Donegal, the son of a travelling salesman. He himself operated a touring picture show and then a cinema in the town of Falcarragh, while also learning the trade of a tailor. But the business, eventually, failed to prosper and the family moved to Coventry to seek work.

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Rousing the Reader

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

It is language itself ‑ its multiplicity, its straining after meaning, the assumptions buried within it ‑ that are illuminated by Paul Muldoon’s work, with the best poems, in his words, giving the alert reader the answers ‘to questions that only they have raised’.

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The Persuaders

John Fanning

There seems to be a dearth of evidence that political ad campaigns actually work. Nevertheless, politicians are always open to the advice of advertising professionals on how to simplify their message and get it across to the public in a way they will find palatable.

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On Not Being Smart Enough

Clara Fischer

Philosophy remains one of the least diverse disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. While great strides have been made in other subject areas, certainly in the European and North American context, university philosophy still includes woefully few women.

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A Fierce Eye

Gerald Dawe

At the heart of Derek Mahon’s new prose collection there is a lot of truth-telling going on about the artist’s life. It is a far cry from the showy, silly lifestyle version we are offered daily from media-hungry celebs, asking the reader to feel their pain.

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Florence O’Donoghue

Caroline Hurley

Born in Killarney in 1928, the son of a former RIC man, Florence O’Donoghue had an eminent career in the law in England and spent much of his life trying to make sense of his dual, and sometimes conflicting, sense of allegiance to both Ireland and Britain.

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Shadow Poems

Paul Perry

Brought up speaking Irish by a Belfast father who was also immersed in Esperanto, Ciaran Carson has translated the poems of a French writer who said he loved his language so much he could learn no other – yet he appeared familiar with the verse of English peasant poet John Clare.

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The Astonishment of Insight

Gerard Smyth

A major new anthology of war poetry covers a range of conflicts including the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Vietnam War and Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, in both their twentieth century phases.

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An Incendiary Film

Caroline Hurley

DW Griffith’s ‘Birth of A Nation’, released a hundred years ago and based on a novel by the Scotch-Irish propagandist Thomas Dixon, portrayed the liberation of the slaves in the US South as a plot against civilisation and has been called the most controversial film of all time.

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Thomas Patrick Byrne

Thomas Byrne

Thomas Patrick Byrne (1901-1940) was a casual labourer and soldier until he emigrated to the US, just in time for the great depression. The first in our new series, Irish Lives, in which we will publish brief family histories. Submissions are welcome.

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The Better Truth

Philip Coleman

Theo Dorgan’s new collection contains many moving elegies for lost friends but also some of the most moving and beautiful love poems written by any poet writing in English over the last few decades.

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Consoling Songs

Richard Hayes

Peter Fallon recognises bleakness – the barbed wire of the concentration camp ‘a crown of thorns around the temple of the world’. But, like Orpheus, he can too shape consoling songs from the shards of his own sorrow.

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Sharp words from elsewhere

Thomas McCarthy

Like a cranky uncle who has spent too long in the tropics, Harry Clifton has thrown insults at every poet-cousin he has read, yet his own verse seems to know more and to be wiser than his often ill-advised urges to lecture others on what they are doing wrong might suggest.

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Poems Upstairs: John McAuliffe

John McAuliffe reads from his new collection, "The Way In", on Wed 3rd June, 7pm at Books Upstairs.

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An Afternoon with Pádraig Yeates

Maurice Earls in conversation with Pádraig Yeates, historian of Dublin in the revolutionary era, Sun 14th June, 3pm at Books Upstairs

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Bloomsday 2015 at Books Upstairs

Readings and songs from Joyce at Books Upstairs, Tues 16th June, 1pm

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Jeering the men of 1916

It is fairly well known that volunteers captured in 1916 were sometimes jeered at by crowds of working class Dubliners on their way to imprisonment. What exactly can we read into this and what does it tell us about the legitimacy of the rising?

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If at first you don't succeed ...

Ingeborg Rapoport was a recent medical graduate when she finished her doctoral thesis on diphtheria in Hamburg in 1938. But she was not allowed to submit it as her mother was of Jewish origin.

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Saul Bellow Brought To Book

Saul Bellow was not the first, but he was one of the earlier and most dominant of the Jewish writers who played such a big part in 20th-century American literature.

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Peter Gay: 1923 - 2015

Peter Gay, who fled Berlin with his family as a schoolboy, settling in the United States, was one of the most eminent historians of the Enlightenment. He was also a biographer of Freud and wrote other books on modern German and Austrian history.

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Slugging It Out

A new group, Historians for Britain, argues that Britain's 'special' historical path means it should tell the EU to bog off. A rival group, Historians for History, argues that there is no such special path. There will be blood.

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Labour's Scottish Woes

This week's UK election is one of the most uncertain for decades. But one thing is sure: Labour will do disastrously in Scotland. And the likelihood is that that situation will persist until such time as the Scottish party can effectively assert its independence from the English one.

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Cheap and Cheerful

George Orwell thought that paperbacks were a good idea, particularly for the reader. But he also thought publishers and booksellers should combine to suppress them.

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Trollope and Ireland: A Talk

John McCourt, Joycean scholar and chronicler of the Trieste years, will be talking about Anthony Trollope's Irish novels in Books Upstairs, D'Olier Street on Sunday, April 19th.

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Eduardo Galeano: 1940-2015

The Uruguayan writer, journalist and political essayist, who had died aged 74, was an inspirational figure for generations of the Latin American left.

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Günter Grass: 1927-2015

The Nobel prizewinner was the best-known German writer internationally and a major figure in both literature and political controversy over half a century.

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All the same we're different

A minister recently suggested that Polish immigrants might be losing out on the possibility of social integration by attending their own schools on Saturdays. But surely if they don't they will be losing out too.

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Remembering George Byrne

Journalist, film critic, pundit and ferocious conversationalist George Byrne died last week. John Fleming remembers the early years.

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The Dublin Library Society

A nineteenth century Dublin institution, first located in Eustace Street and then in D'Olier Street, afforded its members access to newspapers, pamphlets and serious literature, all for the price of one guinea a year.

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Liffey Street Angelus

A poem by Keith Payne from his latest collection

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New Books

Irish Literature

Featuring new poetry from Jane Clarke, Dermot Healy and John McAuliffe; as well as new fiction from Ireland's Laureate for Fiction, Anne Enright, and Dermot Bolger.

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World Literature

Featuring Jane Smiley's second novel in the Last Hundred Years trilogy; and new novels from Toni Morrison and Mario Vargas Llosa.

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Irish History & Politics

Featuring Irish Doctors in the First World War and a biography of the cultural nationalist and Gaelic Leaguer, Domhnall Ua Buachalla.


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World History & Politics

Featuring Interviews with New Left Review, with the celebrated literary critic Raymond Williams; and a collection of Letters to Palestine.

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Irish Culture, Philosophy & Science

Featuring David Blake Knox's history of Ireland and the Eurovision; and The Catholic Church in Ireland Today.

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World Culture, Philosophy & Science

Featuring Oliver Sack's autobiography On the Move.

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Ireland 1912 - 1922

Featuring Padraig Yeates’s A City in Civil War Dublin; Maurice Walsh's Bitter Freedom; and Gavin M. Foster's The Irish Civil War and Society.

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More New Books ...